Understanding RAID Arrays: The Difference Between Mirroring and Striping

Several different types of RAID arrays exist. If you are new to RAID technology, setting up a RAID server in your home or for your small business, or have just never encountered RAID before, the different levels can be confusing.

Two common terms used in RAID arrays are “mirroring” and “striping.” What do they mean?

Striping In RAID Arrays

When you use striping to write data to the hard disk drives in a RAID array, you divide the data (in stripes) across the various drives. A RAID 0 array uses two or more hard drives and stripes data across all drives. This provides the greatest performance and efficiency. The smaller the stripes, the faster the array.

However, many experts say RAID 0 is not a true RAID array, since it lacks the crucial element of redundancy. One failed hard drive in the array could mean the need for emergency data recovery services.

You can also use striping techniques with mirroring to deliver a boost in performance and stability. Which brings us to a second term commonly used in RAID technology: Mirroring

Mirroring in RAID Arrays

Mirroring is simply when you “mirror” or duplicate data on one hard drive in a RAID array on another drive, creating redundancy and reducing the chances that you’ll need emergency RAID recovery if a hard drive in your array fails.

You can combine striping and mirroring techniques as long as you have an even number of hard disk drives in your RAID array. This creates a RAID system that is both stable and faster than a single hard drive.

Need Emergency RAID Data Recovery

Whatever techniques you use in your RAID array, RAID data recovery in the event of catastrophic drive failure is a complicated process. Always trust your RAID data recovery to data recovery professionals. 

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